Archive for June 27th, 2013

Power outages across Grand Cayman Thursday

| 27/06/2013 | 28 Comments

(CNS): CUC has said that the power outages affecting customers in some areas of Grand Cayman on Thursday were due to a temporary loss of electricity supply to two generating units within the North Sound Road Power Plant. Customers in parts of Rum Point, Bodden Town, George Town, West Bay Road and West Bay experienced interruption to their electricity service between 12:55pm and 2:45pm today (Thursday 27 June). However, CUC said that their crews worked safely to identify the problem and restore power as quickly as possible with service being restored to all customers by 2:45pm. 

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PIN participants enjoy positive experience with PwC

| 27/06/2013 | 0 Comments

PIN and PWC.jpg(CNS): A group of George Town Primary students have recently completed the PIN (Positive Intervention Now) afterschool programme at St George’s Anglican Church along with the completion of the academic year.  The students have been able to enjoy the programme (which runs from 3pm to 6pm Tuesday to Thursday), thanks in part to the generous support of sponsors and volunteers, including a group of fifteen volunteers from major sponsor, PwC. The programme, run by the Education and Youth Committee of St George’s Anglican Church, focuses on youngsters of 10 and 11 years of age, who are generally in their last year of primary school.

The programme helps to shape the youngsters spiritually, intellectually and emotionally, through this often difficult transition into the teenage years. As well as focusing on intellectual pursuits such as homework, maths and reading, the programme also offers youngsters the chance to perfect their table etiquette, develop spiritual awareness and also work on fun art and science projects.

Assistance from a variety of corporate sponsors means the programme has been able to run for the last five academic years, and offers the youngsters a hot meal each day, field trips to places such as the George Town Library, as well as picnics and fun family events.

Marlene Ricketts is the PIN programme facilitator, and she says that she is deeply grateful to the efforts of volunteers like PwC because she can truly see the considerable positive impact their involvement has had on the students.

“We thank PwC for its continued commitment to the programme,” she said. “Without corporate sponsorship our programme might not have lasted as long as it has. PwC does not only financially support PIN, but they have also provided laptops and a great number of volunteers who help throughout the year. It makes such a difference when they are there because the children get more individual attention. Besides helping the children with work there has been incidental learning as the volunteers from PwC led a special project called “The world through my eyes” to teach the children basic photography.”

Angilynn Chan-Baraud, PwC’s Assurance and Business Development Manager, coordinates the firm’s efforts to assist the PIN programme. Baraud says that broadening PwC’s input this year to actively spend time with the young people has been a very rewarding experience all around.

“Our volunteers have very much enjoyed spending time with and getting to know all the young people who attend the PIN programme,” she said. “For the photography project we provided each student with a disposable camera and asked them to take pictures for one week. Their work has been displayed at the PIN programme and we were very impressed by the results. We all attended the PIN closing ceremony recently and we were extremely proud of all the young people with whom we have worked. Community involvement at this level is extremely important to all of us at PwC and we thank the youngsters for making PIN such an enjoyable programme in which to participate.”

Confirming thefirm’s commitment to the PIN programme, Baraud applauded Ricketts and her team for their endeavours to assist Cayman’s youth development.

“Ms Marlene, her assistants, St. George’s Anglican Church and the PIN Board have again undertaken a huge effort this year to help guide the students through this tough transitional time in their lives and we are delighted to continue to help in this cause. Congratulations to everyone involved for helping to guide the young people on to a bright future.”

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HMS Lancaster sunk by Cayman Rugby

| 27/06/2013 | 0 Comments

rugby lanc.jpg(CRFU): A team from the HMS Lancaster, in Cayman waters during the Hurricane Season, took on a local Cayman Rugby Select XV on 22 June in a game that marked the end of the local rugby XV’s season. With the end of the domestic and international Rugby XV’s season the Cayman Rugby Union now makes way for the Rugby 7’s season which will be highlighted by the 2013 NACRA 7’s Championship to be held here in Cayman in November 2013. The HMS Lancaster XV, coming from wins over Bermuda U19 XV and a loss to Key West RFC, fielded 12 players and borrowed the remainder from their Caymanian hosts and it wasn’t long before Cayman started to pile the points on their visitors. (Photo by Caroline Deegan)

The heat, and the fact that HMS Lancaster players do not often get the opportunity to train as a team whilst on deployment, lead to a 66-7 mauling! HMS Lancaster’s only try on the day being recorded by honorary Seaman Iain Blackwell.

Whilst the rugby action was a one sided affair on the pitch the HMS Lancaster XV enjoyed food and drink provided by the Cayman Rugby Union in recognition of their arrival on Island which forms part of a long history of games played by the Cayman Rugby Union against visiting British Naval Ships.

HMS Lancaster now moves to Turks and Caicos where they hope for better fortunes on the Rugby pitch. Turks and Caicos recently played their first full IRB sanctioned International Rugby match against Jamaica which they lost 31-13.

Photos by Caroline Deegan:
Lanc1: HMS Lancaster forward Sam Winfield looks to make his way to the Cayman try line.
Lanc2: Ricardo Brown touches down for 5 of Cayman’s 66 points on the day.

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Local kitesurfing competition to launch next year

| 27/06/2013 | 0 Comments

kite sailing.jpg(TRIO): Following on from the recent tremendous successes of Cayman-based kite surfing professional, Jhon Mora, head instructor at Kitesurf Cayman, the Cayman Islands intends to put itself firmly on the international kitesurfing map with the launch of Cayman’s own four day kitesurfing championship: The Rock International Open, to be held from 12 – 16 February, 2014. Local kite surfing hero Mora recently competed in the 2013 Kiteboard Racing North American Championship, which took place at the St. Francis Yacht Club in San Francisco, gaining 14th place out of 78th. (Photo by Tara Stanhope)

He then travelled to the Southern Caribbean island of Bonaire just a few days later, competing in the South and Middle American Course Racing Championships, an event sanctioned by the International Kiteboarding Association (IKA) and the International Sailing Federation (ISAF) and hosted by the Bonaire Kitesurf Foundation. Mora had healthy finishes in all races over the four days and was delighted with his positioning.

“Grand Cayman has now started to be recognised on the IKA circuit. It feels very cool,” he confirmed.

As a result of the buzz this new extreme sport has created among local sports enthusiasts, Cayman’s first ever kitesurfing competition will launch next year. Some of the world’s top kitesurfers are gearing themselves up for Cayman’s first kitesurfing championship, known as The Rock International Open 2014, while the excitement locally is mounting.

T.R.I.O. 2014 organiser and avid kitesurfer Derek Serpell said:

“As the sport grows in popularity here in Cayman in parallel with the growing appetite for kitesurfing internationally, we thought the Cayman Islands should host its very own championship. We have already seen considerable excitement generated by this event locally and it’s gaining traction abroad as well. This is great news for the sport here in Cayman and the Island as a whole, as we seek to expand and promote sports tourism in the Cayman Islands.”

If you would like to participate in or sponsor this event please visit: www.trio.ky for more information.

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Youth Act steers kids away from crime

| 27/06/2013 | 6 Comments

Prisoner & Judge.JPG(CNS): At the launch of a new youth crime reduction programme over 300 Year 8 students from John Gray, Clifton Hunter and Cayman Brac’s Layman Scott high schools learned about the importance of taking personal responsibility for choices and the consequences of poor choices. According to the organisers, the message that came through at the Youth Anti-Crime Trust’s (Youth ACT) day-long Youth Crime Awareness & Prevention Day pilots, held at JGHS on 31 May and CHHS on 21 June, was that it is not by chance but by the choices we make that our future unfolds. Youth ACT members, presenters and the education ministry have collaborated to develop a range of 30-minute interactive workshops on such hard-hitting topics as gangs, drugs and alcohol and misuse of firearms.

A far cry from a conventional education programme, according to a release from the ministry, the students heard from experts in criminal justice and rehabilitation, including: prisoners, judges, prosecutors, prison officers, police officers, drug counsellors, psychologists and testimonials about the causes and effects of crime. School counsellors were also in attendance to offer assistance when and if needed and social workers were on call.

Through role play, students also experienced the loss of freedom that comes with convictions for breaking the law.  They were on “lock down” throughout the day, escorted to and from workshops by volunteers from the Prison Services and RCIPS, with the restrictions that would be applied to prisoners. 

At the end of the day, students and adults celebrated the lifting of these restrictions with a debriefing and celebration session. 

CHHS students Sharon Laidlaw and Jordan Ebanks, both describe their experience at the crime awareness day as fun and interesting. Asked which session had the greatest impact, Ebanks said, “I was really surprised by the effects drugs and alcohol can have on your life.”

Laidlaw added, “I learned a lot from the sessions today, but mostly that I’m the one who has the voice and all the power of choice.”

The Youth ACT is a newly formed non-profit association created to implement effective prevention programmes to address anti-social behaviour and prevent youth crime. The key objective of Youth ACT is to empower children with the required knowledge to prepare them to deal with the social, emotional, at-risk behavioral and academic demandsplaced on them by society. In addition, Youth Act intends to advocate for a change in public policy and in the way penalties and punishment are administered to our youth in support of restorative justice. 

Youth ACT Chairperson Bonnie Anglin, explained the programme’s focus on education as a means of prevention and commented, "Too often, adults expect children to have the knowledge and experience to make good decisions without having provided the needed information."

There are three main influences on children and young people; family, school and community. The Youth ACT pilot project was developed by involving all stakeholders in the process of creating a variety of programmes through the school and the community to address youth crime prevention through education. 

Michael Myles, Ministry of Education’s At-Risk Programme Coordinator and board member of Youth ACT, stated, “The challenges we are encountering in our country do not rest on the shoulders of one person, one agency and/or one community stakeholder.  In order to ensure that we are successful with improving the lives of our people and our youth, we must all carry the burden, for it is only then we will experience long-lasting progress in the lives of our people.”

Dr Tasha Ebanks Garcia, board member of Youth ACT, said, “As a representative of higher education these initiatives are critical to ensuring that our young people are positioned to benefit from higher education.  When we equip them with the skills necessary to successfully navigate life through good choices, we increase the likelihood that they will access higher education and therefore have greater opportunity to succeed.”

Education Minister Tara Rivers attended the launch of the John Gray pilot, and offered her thanks and congratulations to Youth ACT and the many different individuals and agencies who worked with the Education Ministry to develop and implement the Youth Crime Awareness and Prevention Days.

“It is important that we as a country recognize that there is crime among our youth and that we must be proactive in educating our young people and showing them that crime is not the answer.  I very much support the need for crime prevention in the schools’ curriculum and look forward to continuing to work with Youth ACT to help our youth to make positive choices in their lives,” Rivers commented.

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Rugby Sevens begin preparations

| 27/06/2013 | 0 Comments

rugby3_0.jpg(CRC): From 28 June to 1 July, the Cayman Islands National Rugby Sevens team will begin their preparations in earnest at the South Sound Ground for the North American and Caribbean Rugby Championships, which will be held in Grand Cayman at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex from 9-10 November 2013. The November championship offers a qualification process for the CACSO Commonwealth and World Sevens Series tournaments in 2014 and is, therefore, high on the list of "must wins" for Director of Rugby, Richard Adams.

"A win at the championships in November is a must, to set us up for major tournament play in 2014, which we desperately need to continue the improvement we have made in recent years," said Adams. "I am delighted that nine new graduates from the Maples Rugby Sevens Academy will join former graduates in the National side this year, for a total of 26 here on island, with a further 12 overseas taking us to a squad of 38. From this squad we have to get down to 12, so competition is going to be very high indeed this year."

The camp this weekend is sponsored in part by the Commonwealth Games Federation (CGF), the Cayman Islands Olympic Committee (CIOC), Maples and Calder, and Queensgate Bank and Trust.

Morgan Williams, a former professional player, National Sevens coach and captain of the Canada team, has been working with the Cayman team for the past two seasons and will lead the camp. He brings a professional approach and world class coaching skills to the camp. Williams is joined by Wales' Assistant Fitness and Conditioning coach, Dan Baugh, who will be working closely with the CRFU’s new Strength & Conditioning coach, David Clancy, who hails from Ireland and has extensive knowledge of Rugby Sevens in Samoa and rugby in Ireland.

Clancy, in Cayman on a CGF grant, and Baugh will be setting up a five month periodisation schedule for the players to ensure that they are in peak condition for the November championships. The CIOC accepted a request from the CRFU this month for Rugby Sevens to receive the Olympic Solidarity Team Support Grant for the quadrennial leading up to the 2016 Olympic Games in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and this weekend will be the first step in that direction.

Adams added, "This is a very important and exciting time in Rugby Sevens for the Cayman Islands. We are rolling out a professional high performance environment for the players and management. We have a Chief Medical Officer, Dr Sean Teeling, a Head Physiotherapist, Al Bartice, a Head S&C coach Dave Clancy and two of the world's leading consultants in their field on board. I am so grateful to Maples and Calder, CIOC, CGF and Queensgate for their continued support.

"To get to the next level requires a significant investment and I am now looking for new Sevens partners to get on board with this program. The World Sevens Series, Commonwealth Games, Youth Commonwealth Games, Youth Olympic Games, CACSO Games & Pan Am Games are within reach at the moment. I am confident that with the management team that we have assembled and our player group, we are on the right track to take Rugby Sevens to a new level in the Cayman Islands and the region. One never knows, with Canada and the USA making such big strides towards Olympic pre-qualification, there just may be room for us to squeeze through the door in 2016."

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Caribbean policymakers gather in Bahamas

| 27/06/2013 | 0 Comments

ben-meade.jpg(CNS): Cayman 27's News Director, Ben Meade, was among more than 100 public and private sector policymakers from around the Caribbean gathered in The Bahamas this week to look at sustainable solutions for economic and population growth in the region. Several topics pertinent to development in small island-nations were discussed, including Enhancing the Logistics and Connectivity of the Caribbean, Improving the Investment Climate in the Caribbean, and the Political Economy of Growth in the Caribbean in Times of Limited Choices. a release from the local TV station said that Meade attended a 24-25 June Caribbean Growth Forum regional workshop as a specially-invited guest of the Inter-American Development Bank (IDB).

“You have been selected based on your stellar track record of forums such as this; your wide reach and strong roots in the Caribbean and the ability to disseminate accurate, timely and salient information to a diversified audience,” stated an invitation from the organisers.

“I think this is a great opportunity to take stock of where we are in the Cayman Islands compared to what some of our neighbours in the Caribbean are doing. I am looking forward to assessing the wins and losses of other jurisdictions and see what lessons can be learned from a Cayman context,” said Mr. Meade.

Attending the gathering were government leaders, business leaders and officials from several multinational agencies like the IDB, World Bank, Caribbean Development Bank, Caribbean Export Development Agency and the United Kingdom Department for International Development.

“The topics being discussed will have an impact on the lives of everyone but the message often gets lost in the jargon of government officials and technocrats. It is important that the media is involved in this dialogue to help better get the information out to the wider community in a format they can understand,” Meade added.

Cayman 27 will air a series of special reports on development issues addressed at the two-day meeting.

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Donate old phones at Rock and Reggae concert

| 27/06/2013 | 3 Comments

Music Republic teams up with Find Your Voice_27June2013v2.jpg(CNS): Organisers of the Cayman Rock and Reggae Festival, which will take place next month at Camana Bay, have made it easy for those attending donate old phones for a good cause. Music Republic CEO Ian Hemming and Principal Mark Beckford announced that the concert will feature cell phone donation bins to collected used and damaged phones for the Find Your Voice programme benefit the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre. Inspired by KPMG’s global employee philanthropic programme called BRIGHT, Find Your Voice provides clients of the CICC, an organisation dedicated to providing a safe shelter for women and children in abusive relationships, with new mobile phones and new telephone numbers by using the proceeds of the recycled used or damaged mobile phones toward the purchase of new ones.

Music Republic, the hosts of The Rock & Reggae Festival, say it is the first concept in the Cayman Islands which will stage two unique and distinct music genres.

Rarely presented together, the event will feature two headliners, Air Supply and Third World Band celebrating each genre, as well as other up-and-coming acts, such as Chronixx, Brave Yesterday, Stuart Wilson, and Inverse, to create a musically diverse show.

Organisers say that from sundown to early in the morning, the audience can groove to the beats of this artsy,edgy and culturally raw experience in one of the world's premier vacation destinations, the Cayman Islands. The Cayman Rock & Reggae Music Festival 2013 will take place on 12 July at the Festival Green at Camana Bay,Grand Cayman. Gates open at 5:30pm.

The Cayman Islands Crisis Centre is the only women's safe house in the Cayman Islands and has provided housing, counselling and support services to more than 700 women and their children since its inception in 2003. The CICC is staffed 24 hours a day, seven days a week, by security personnel and caring individuals trained in providing support and education to victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. The Crisis Centre provides the services that help clients make a healthy transition to a life free from violence.

Find Your Voice was developed to provide a new phone number, mobile phone, and set amount of pre-paid minutes to women coming through the Cayman Islands Crisis Centre.  A key aspect of the program is involving the community in the solution – the community is asked to donate their old mobile phones and accessories, which are sent to a recycling company.  The proceeds from this are used to fund the program.  This program provides women with independence, a practical aid in their time at the Crisis Centre and afterward, and knowledge that the community has made this program possible.

Photo: CICC Executive Director Ania Sedgley (left) and Gabrielle Beckford, Production Assistant Music Republic, 

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Type 1 diabetes vaccine hailed as ‘significant step’

| 27/06/2013 | 0 Comments

diabetes.jpg(BBC): It may be possible to reverse type 1 diabetes by training a patient's own immune system to stop attacking their body, an early trial suggests. Their immune system destroys the cells that make insulin, the hormone needed to control blood sugar levels. A study in 80 patients, published in the journal Science Translational Medicine, showed a vaccine could retrain their immune system. Experts described the results as a "significant step". Normally a vaccine teaches the immune system to attack bacteria or viruses that cause disease, such as the polio virus. Researchers at the Stanford University Medical Centre used a vaccine with the opposite effect – to make the immune system cease its assault.

In patients with type 1 diabetes, the immune system destroys beta cells in the pancreas. This means the body is unable to produce enough insulin and regular injections of the hormone are needed throughout life. It is a different disease to type 2 diabetes, which can be caused by an unhealthy diet.

The vaccine was targeted to the specific white blood cells which attack beta cells. After patients were given weekly injections for three months, the levels of those white blood cells fell.

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Government extends import duty concessions

| 27/06/2013 | 24 Comments

(CNS): Cayman Brac drivers will continue to enjoy a greatly reduced import duty on gasoline, at least for the next six months, which will continue to be 12.5 cents per gallon. Brackers and people on Little Cayman also get to keep the 100% import duty waiver on building materials imported to the Sister Islands. The flat 15% import duty rate on building materials imported to Grand Cayman has also been extended to the end of the year. The Finance & Economic Development Ministry says this is to further stimulate economic activity on the islands. The normal rate of import duty on motor gasoline is 75 cents per gallon, whilst the normal import duty rate on building material ranges from 17% to 22%, according to the ministry.

In announcing the extension, Finance Minister Marco Archer said, “The extension of these concessions is consistent with the government’s ongoing efforts to stimulate growth in the economy, and I encourage all developers and other stakeholders to accelerate their construction activity during this further concessionary period.”

For the purpose of these concessions, building materials have been defined as: “All physical components and substances, whether solid or liquid, used in the construction, renovation or restoration and forming a permanent part of any building or related structure.” Items such as furniture, accessories, electronics and appliances are specifically excluded.
 

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